Joro spider could be spotted in Maryland again this summer

A large spider native to Asia that was spotted in Maryland last year could be back again this summer. The Joro spider, an invasive species that is on the move in the United States, is poised to spread across much of the East Coast. Here’s what we know about the colorful arachnid.


A photo of a Joro spider. (David Coyle/Clemson University)

What is a Joro Spider? 

Despite popular belief these spiders don’t have the ability to fly. Instead, they move using a thread of silk to catch the wind and float around. These spiders from East Asia are covered in a vibrant black and yellow pattern and can be as big as a human hand when extended, according to Professor Emeritus of Entomology at University of Maryland, Michael Raupp.

READ MORE: Could giant flying, venomous spiders creep into the DMV? Here's what we know about the Joro

Regardless of their intimidating look, these spiders are quite shy, and according to a report by the University of Georgia these are the "shyest spiders ever documented" freezing for more than one hour when disturbed.

Where is the Joro Spider? 

According to Raupp, the Joro was spotted last year in Howard County, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they’re seen again.  The spider is often found along trails in the woods, backyards, and house porches. 

The species was first spotted in Georgia in 2013. Andy Davis, a University of Georgia Scientist, believes it arrived by hopping in a shipping container. 

 What to Do if you are Bitten by a Joro Spider? 

This spider is non-threatening to humans based on their dietary habits and if bitten, it shouldn’t be a concern. A Joro spider bite is often compared to a bee sting and it can cause some redness and blistering, unless there is an allergic reaction. 

Should you Kill a Joro Spider? 

Killing these spiders when encountering them isn’t necessary. The DMV area could benefit from the presence of the arachnid because they eat stink bugs and the spotted lanternfly.